Wednesday, September 27, 2017
My latest sewing project has been making awnings that will cover the hatches. It doesn't rain much in the Bahamas but when it does, it goes without saying that the hatches should be closed. While in the Bahamas we found ourselves turning the dinghy around many times to return to the boat and close the hatches. Also, there have been nights when the rain would start and stop many times. George would get up to close the hatches, then open them, then close, etc. Awnings over the hatches would enable us to leave the hatches open, both when we are away from the boat and on it. I made the first awning using the instructions from Canvas for Cruisers. I bought lightweight Weathermax fabric to use for the awnings. The first awnings is finished and we tested the fit using bungees and lines. I have more shock cord on order to make bungee cords for all of the attachments. I am working on the other two awnings that will go on either side of the boom.
George figured out a system for hanging the Porta-Bote from the arch and securing it so that it doesn't swing when we are moving. The Porta-Bote comes with 2 holes drilled in the bow but no other attachment points. George spoke with someone at the company who assured him that other holes could be drilled. The material is quite strong (it is used to make bullet-proof vests) so the holes would hold and not rip through. George drilled 2 holes near the transom and 2 holes mid-ship, all near the gunnels. He attached brass grommets to each hole. He then tied a short length of Amsteel in each hole and then tied on lines that had shackles in the middle. He attached the shackles to the arch. In addition, he tied spring lines to keep the Porta-Bote from moving side to side and a line attached to the mid-ship on the far side that went under the Porta-Bote and attached to the port and starboard sides of Breeze On to keep the Porta-Bote from swing out and back. The whole thing worked really well. We love the arm on the new arch for lowering the Porta-Bote and the outboard motor. We couldn't quite get the swim platform down when the Porta-Bote was in the water attached to the arm. George rigged a line to act as a quick-release for the aft shackle. The Porta-Bote could then swing away from Breeze On and allow the swim platform to be lowered. Brilliant!